ESPN Commentators For 2010 World Cup TV Coverage Announced

ESPN today announced the lead commentators for its coverage of the 2010 World Cup. The lead commentators will be Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, Derek Rae and Adrian Healey.

In all, ESPN will employ four teams to cover all 64 tournament games live from South Africa between June 11 and July 11, 2010.

The inclusion of Martin Tyler was announced late last year. And the placement of Derek Rae and Adrian Healey will come as no surprise since both of them have been integral to ESPN’s coverage of soccer over the past several years. Ian Darke is the surprise. The commentator, who has commentated Premier League games for years, is a worthy signing and will definitely elevate the quality of ESPN’s coverage.

As a side note, Darke was hired to commentate on World Cup games during the 1994 World Cup and did an admirable job then during his short stint in America.

ESPN’s broadcast assignments for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – including the analyst pairings – will be announced later this spring.

The only concern I have right now is who is going to commentate the games featuring the United States. I presumed it would have been JP Dellacamera as the lead commentator, but he has instead been selected as the lead commentator for the World Cup games that will be broadcast on ESPN Radio alongside Tommy Smyth. It’s going to sound strange to have a British commentator being the lead on games featuring the United States.

“The group of commentators we have assembled represents some of the finest English-language voices for televised soccer anywhere in the world,” said Jed Drake, ESPN’s executive producer, 2010 FIFA World Cup.  “They present the sport at its highest level and their first-hand knowledge of the players who will compete in the FIFA World Cup will greatly inform fans and enhance how we present this global event in the United States.”

146 thoughts on “ESPN Commentators For 2010 World Cup TV Coverage Announced”

    1. I disagree on that one. The US games should have a US commentator and JP is one of the best American ones ESPN has.

      CTBlues, if not JP, who should it be in your opinion?

      The Gaffer

      1. I disagree with you Gaffer. Martin Tyler is the best english announcer in the world. We deserve the best. I hope he does all the US’ games.

        1. I love Martin Tyler, but I still feel US games should be commentated on by US announcers. Imagine if you were in England and you had JP Dellacamera or Tommy Smyth commentating on the England games there.

          The Gaffer

          1. I think the only Americans that would be upset about a Brit commentating an American match are the same people that think soccer is for girls, that you should teach evolution in public school, and the people that say, “We kicked those Brits out of here 200 years ago!”. But I think all the English speaking soccer fans in America would much rather listen to a top shelf Brit announcer instead of an middle to bottom shelf American announcer and ESPN knows this other wise they would have Dellacamera announcing the US games.

          2. Gaffer,

            That would be awful if ANYONE would have to sit through JP! He just tries to fill too much time..he’s the typical football/baseball commentator that feels he MUST continue to talk even if it has no use in the game! Phil Schoen i feel is the best American commentator out there..

          3. first of all JP would never announce a game in England

            second of all, though I don’t necessarily agree with ESPN’s penchant to bring outside talent in for major events (Bob Ley, Berman who usually end up spewing tired facts as if he discovered more dead sea scrolls) instead of dancing with who brung ’em, if they’re going to bring outsiders in – make sure they upgrade the lineup. JP is the weakest link IMO next to my mancrush Derek Rae, Adrian Healy and Ian Darke. It’s such a pain to listen to JP over-hyping every long pass or cross and describing every little thing going on.

          4. Well, we all know who CTBlues, ryan and sucka99 will be rooting for on June 12… not America.

            You know guys, if you hate this country so much, there’s a country 90 miles to the south called Cuba. Consider relocating there

          5. well done RaiderRich – claiming to understand what/who someone else will be supporting based on a comments about an unrelated subject. This is what’s killing America – the weak, anti-nuanced, ill-thought-out opinions by people who hate outsiders and think they know the answers to everything and don’t need to learn more.

            If RaiderRich was ever given a job at the USMNT we’d be worse than Canada’s national team now.

        2. From a lifelong american: apples and oranges, with all due respect, gaffer. the american commentary has no sense of the nuance that true football lovers crave. the commentary is a big part of our enjoyment of the match. That enjoyment takes a mighty hit with the likes of dellacamera, sullivan, etc. i just hope the british commentators don’t attempt to appeal too much to the “average” American viewer and lose their integrity in the process.

      2. I’m with The Gaffer. Delecamera has been the voice of the US team all the way through qualifying and while he is not as accomplished an announcer as Tyler or Rae, I feel like he is “ours.”

        Personally, when it comes to the international game I’m willing to sacrifice a little bit of announcing quality to have an American in the booth that I know is living and dying with the result just like I am. I don’t want to hear an announcer who read about the Americans’ road to the World Cup, I want to hear an announcer who was in all those rowdy Central American stadiums with the team.

        That is not to take anything away from Tyler or Rae, they are both excellent and I’m sure will do a great job.

  1. This is excellent news, particularly because Dellacamera won’t be on US games. Good TV lineup overall, but I pity anyone having to listen to that radio team. Dellacamera and Smyth seem to have been made for each other, at least.

  2. So happy that Tommy Smith is not part of that, although I’m sure he is gonna “rear his head” somehow!

  3. I will get villified for this but I like Tommy Smyth and got used to John Harkes and JP Dellacamera. They should at least call the US games since they followed the team.

    1. I agree here. They follow the team and know the team. I would prefer that for US teams then British announcers who would try to talk down to the American crowd during US games. I like many British announcers but not for US games. They talk about us like we are like the cute little puppy in the FIFA family. It’s cute and everybody loves them but they have no real role in the family. While this may be true about US soccer I don’t want to hear about while watching them play.

    2. I’m feeling the same RIP. JP should be the voice of the US team. There should be more of an outrage over this.

  4. Dellacamera got shafted. I don’t think he’s great but he’s okay and should have done at least the US matches on TV. ESPN went TO THE EXTREME but they have got 3 fantastic commentators and a decent one in Healey. Problem I have with Healey is he’s cheesy.

    1. To me, Healey is a better commentator than he is a presenter. He did quite well in 2008 and will definitely be better this summer I believe.

      The Gaffer

      1. The football commentators forum I’m on in the UK says they’re jealous of our lineup. :)

        Healey is good when he wants to be but I can’t stand the corny part of his commentary “The French are toast”.

  5. Ian Darke?! Brilliant! It seems like this will be the best-produced World Cup ever as far as the US is concerned.

    ESPN should look into the bloke who does the television commentary for New England Revolution. He’s pretty good as far as being an American commentator.

  6. I’m with the Gaffer. I think ESPN is overcompensated due to the backlash from Dave O’Brien in 2006. We should have Americans calling our matches. I love that Martin Tyler is on board, but listening to him call the US v England match on American television just smells of an inferiority complex. We are better that this and it is just unfortunate that ESPN made such a giant mistake with O’Brien last time around. JP and Harkes are miles better than what we used to have. I’ll take Tyler over O’Brien and Jack Edwards, but in my opinion JP is more than adequate to call our matches at the very least.

    I am really happy that Ian Darke is back. The World Cup in 94 is what made me completely fall in love with the game and I clearly remember Darke from the games that he did. It is a pleasure when I turn on a prem match and hear that he is calling it.

  7. Thank god, JP and company won’t SHUT UP about mindless stats during a match.

    If they would watch an EPL match and take some pointers on calling the action and not making it a talking point they would actually be somewhat okay to listen to.

  8. if you close your eyes when Dellacamera is on the air, you might not even know a game is being played. he babbles on about the current affairs of the team rather than the game. he would be better suited for a talk show than a football match.

    Derek Rae is gold
    Adrian Healey is gold
    Martin Tyler is god

  9. Honestly, I’m a little saddened that JP was relegated to the Radio. He earned his spot on TV for South Africa, at least for the Group Stage. Hopefully the lack of John Harks stays though.

  10. I hope they use John Harkes as a ‘side-kick’ … I think he is the best American announcer bar none … tells it like it is, even if he ruffles feathers.
    BTW, will ABC also use the same commentators as the USA vs England game is on that channel?

    1. Harkes is terrible. Talks way too much and repeats the same phrases over and over again.

      There are decent American co-comms out there. Sullivan and Harkes aren’t it.

    2. lolWUT?! and Yes fool. It’s on ABC… which is owned by Disney… Just like ESPN… and ESPN produces ALL sports for Disney… Its been ESPN on ABC since 2008. (Where have you been under a rock?)

  11. Bring back Mike Hill! lol

    On a more serious note, will the radio commentators be in studio in bristol broadcasting for ESPN Radio, or will they somehow shuttle about, bending the laws of space and time, to make it live to all 64 matches? (I suppose Im answering my own question here, but I just wondered if that was the confirmed arraingment)

    1. RedMD, according to ESPN, “ESPN’s team of 2010 FIFA World Cup reporters will contribute live reporting from match sites and other locations across South Africa.”

      The Gaffer

  12. The only thing more pathetic than an English commentator being tabbed to do the USA/England match is the fact that so many of you love the idea. Seriously? You’re THAT emotionally distant from our national team? You’ll enjoy hearing our opponent call the game, just because he’s “class”?

    The Gaffer is right: really bad decision on ESPN’s part. And the rest of you should be embarrassed to call yourselves U.S. fans, if that’s even what you actually are.

    1. Depends. If they put an American co-commentator that balances things out. It’s not like Tyler is going to hang himself if ENgland doesn’t score. Go look at some of his clips when England concede goals.

      I’d love to just see a Fanzone style commentary for this thing.

    2. lol such irrational thought. because i like listening to someone competent call the game i ’emotionally distant from my national team’. sorry, dellacamera is not part of the USA national team.

      hilarious post. xenophobic much?

      1. “Xenophobic”? Um, we’re talking about a competition that is, by definition, about nationality. That’s what it IS.

        If I’m xenophobic for wanting a fellow countryman to call a game, then you’re xenophobic for wanting fellow countrymen to win the game.

        Do you even understand what the thing called “the World Cup” is?

          1. “If I’m xenophobic for wanting a fellow countryman to call a game, then you’re xenophobic for wanting fellow countrymen to win the game.”


            “Do you even understand what the thing called “the World Cup” is?”

            last I checked – the nation v nation competition was on the field of play, not in the press box. It’s understood that one would root for one country over another. But to say that you want the guy calling the game to be nothing but American calls into question xenophobic tendencies IMO.

    3. I don’t think it’s all that simple. Do I want the U.S. to whip England? Of course. Not to be questioned, but that has nothing to do with my preference for announcers.

      Many U.S. announcers seem obsessed with entertaining us as they call a match (I mean that in all sports). They hype every pass, tackle, shot, whatever. They ramble on about extraneous matters that bring nothing to the viewing experience. I really, REALLY dislike that. I don’t think that makes me un-American or a bad supporter.

      I like the way British (should I say English, “Three Lions”?) announcers present the game to their viewers. No hype. No condescension. No, god forbid, “extras”. You actually have to pay attention to them because they just might slide some caustic bit of humor or important fact by you.

      So, yes, I like the Euro-centric line-up just as it is and am looking forward to watching as many matches as possible. But it will always be….. USA, USA, USA!!

      1. Well said ovalball. No matter what the sport, American announcers give us too much information. You can no longer watch a game and form your own opinion. You are told everything…and ninety percent of it is irrelevant to the game at hand.

        Besides, personally I have always enjoyed listening to the “opposition” announcers broadcast my home team. I love to hear their opinion of my team.

        And, by-the way, USA, USA, USA!!!

      2. No, you can say British for the commentators, we have to accept that although Sotland offers very little to the game (lol), Andy Gray comes from there and does a half decent job.

        1. “Sotland”. I don’t know what the “English” definition of “sot” is, but was that some kind of Freudian slip? 😀

    4. A reasonable move would have been to simulcast the match on two channels, having tyler and guillet providing commentary on say ESPN and JP and Harkes on ABC…

      Or perhaps they could go BBC style and switch commentators every 20 minutes between brits and americans.

  13. Since Martin Tyler is the lead announcer for the World Cup for ESPN he should announce the top game of the day. Which would be USA v England on June 12th. I don’t think there should be one set announcing team for a particular team. The best game get the best annoucning team and so on down the line. The analysts is where you might get some mixing and matching with broadcast teams. So you might put in Okoku hope I spelled that right when teh African teams are playing and put Harkes in when CONCACAF teams are playing. They mixed and matched the broadcast teams during the Euros. Any word on who the analysts are and who the studio show guys are?

    1. The rest of the talent ESPN will feature Steve McManaman, Efan Ekoku, Roberto Martinez, Alexi Lalas, Frank Lebouef, John Harkes, Bob Ley and many many others.

      The decision hasn’t been announced yet regarding who will be doing what.

      The Gaffer

  14. Thank you ESPN!

    Their announcer line up was the right call for the 2008 Euro Cup and absolutely dead on for the World Cup this year. I want announcers who actually know how to call a game (not to mention actually pronounce the players’ names correctly) and not editorialize during the match (uhm, when I’m watching France/South Korea I want to hear you talk about *that* game…not US/Italy from the day before).

    JP Dellacamera and John Harkes are absolutely the worst soccer announcers I have ever heard- especially during the last World Cup (when Dellacamera was working with Wynalda or Balboa). If I only have to stomach them for the US Team, that is more than enough for me.

    btw…ESPN, I’m still waiting for you to show the Netherlands starting line up from their friendly versus the US.

  15. Thank God there will be no JP and John Harkes!!!!! Although it would of been great to have Phil Schoen from GolTV he is miles better than JP!!!

  16. I actually think JP does a decent job with the US matches. I’ve watching football long enough that I don’t have to pretend to be “cool” by pretending to hate the man.

    1. “been watching” I meant to say. JP knows the American team or should I say, Team USA set up better than the legend that is Tyler. Everyone of the American ex-players has been shocking as commentators. Lalas likes to feel he is some sort of soccer great he was slightly less mediocre as player than he was as a GM.

  17. just curious.. with such a strong lineup of talent.. does ESPN have the World Cup rights in any other countries?…. will they be broadcasting in ESPNSTar sport in Asia? Australia?…. seems alot of effort just for the the good ole USA


  18. Gaffer — Any word if ESPN has granted Bob Ley and the American boys permission to refer to it as “football” or are we still stuck hearing them call it “soccer?”

  19. You all do realize BTW that anytime the U.S. plays outside CONCACAF JP & Harkes are doing what I call the “Champions League thing” where they steal the home nation’s feed and are actually sitting in Bristol, CT. Why do you think they kept showing the Dutch bench?

    Anyway, let’s think about this. JP & Harkes did the Confederations Cup final because the U.S. were involved. Would we really want this thick-headed guy going the WORLD CUP FINAL?! Nope. I hate how those two think it’s cool when they accent foreign names. Plus, soccer/football doesn’t move nearly as fast as hockey so that’s why JP can’t fill. You don’t fill during NHL games.

    I think Healey is going to end up becoming our what I’ll call “Football friend” with him at the World Cup and then him hosting the EPL on ESPN2. I mean some people may see him 4 times a week on their TVs. So people may relate to him more.

      1. ESPN would be stupid to waste money sending them to a friendly in the Netherlands. They had no clue what happened with the De Jong yellow card either. That’s a sign they weren’t at the game.

        1. SSReporters
          I just watched the game because I TiVoed it and during the the Pre match they had JP and Harkes on the field talking about the game and teams.

  20. I think it is a terrific idea to have the likes of Martin Tyler and Ian Darke doing the commentary because it will show the American viewer how enjoyable watching soccer can be with knowledgeable announcers. The viewers deserve the best announcers regardless of where they are from.

  21. being from Ireland, I grew up with BBC/ITV commentators and they have always been top notch and first choice for me over the Irish commentators for World Cups and Euro Championships, so i am very happy to see the ESPN lineup but my concern is for the analysts back in the studio…One thing the Irish stations had over the english was a far superior analysis back in the studio where they pull no punches
    I will be disappointed if we get top notch commentary but weak analysis in the studio, but I think the fact that there will be so many ad breaks at half time especially will serve to dilute any proper analysis for me…and that will be a shame.
    My plan will be to watch the match on ESPN HD but to watch the HT analysis on BBC or ITV via illegal streams 😉 (RTE is too bloody hard to get streams of)

    Here’s hoping Apres Match is on RTE after the games this year
    I’ve added this Apres Match wind up of the BBC/ ITV and RTE pundits…enjoy!

    1. I get all my analysis from the fans here at I have no need or time for pregame halftime or postgame analysis. I DVR the games and watch the games only. I like to let the football do the talking and thats it.

  22. Everyone complains about JP, Harkes, and Smyth so ESPN doesn’t let them commentate the World Cup. Now Everyone is bad mouthing ESPN for not letting them commentate.

    Seriously, the one thing I have noticed in the last year I have been coming to this site is that Football/Soccer fans are very hard to please.

    I’m glad ESPN stepped up and brought in some high caliber commentators and I’m fine with Tyler and Darke doing the US games. JP and Harkes are terrible. They treat the audience like they are watching the sport for the first time. I don’t want that. I will say that I got use to or started to tolerate them during the Euro 2008 finals but I shouldn’t have to zone out my commentators.

    Bring on Tyler, Darke, Rae, and Healey. Thank you ESPN.

  23. I would just ask everyone to look at the issue a bit differently. I think it’s an absolute coup of gigantic proportions to nick the very best commentators in the world from the country that arguably possesses the best league in the world. That would be like Japan pulling guys like Jack Buck [Yes, I know he’s no longer with us], Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, and Harry Kalas [Unfortunately he’s no longer with us either] from Major League Baseball in their prime and signing them to commentate for their playoffs and championship. Not only are the English jealous about it, they’re probably scratching their heads wondering how the hell that happened. As well they should.
    Let’s face it, although this will be a World Cup where the USofA will compete for all of us Americans, I want the level of commentating to match what will be the most amazing visual display of football, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Don’t know if I’ll go the 3D route but the fact that several matches will be shown in that format tells all of us that our viewing pleasure will be elevated to a level never before reached. Until the American commentators can describe the game with more intelligence and get a feel for precise and not overly forced football terminology, then I cannot be bothered to let them screw this up for me. It’s too important at this stage of my football viewing evolution. And believe me, I’m just being kind at this point. Come on, JP Delacamera, John Harkes, even Phil Schoen, who I suppose is among the best we have to offer? I will be mildly curious however and will follow very closely the game between England and the USA. How will Martin Tyler and Andy Gray call it when Jozy Altidore rattles the back of the net in extra-time to give the USA a 1 nil win over the motherland? Somehow, I doubt very much that Gray would enthusiastically proclaim “Oh…..ya beauty”. That would be classic.

  24. Perhaps this could all be solved by the commentators just doing the accents of the teams playing. Perfect solution!

  25. Anyone know if Mike Tirico and Chris Fowler are still planning on being apart of ESPN’s coverage of the Copa as I remember seeing their names last year as making the flight to South Africa. I wonder if Tirico and Fowler are going to be doing the presenting of the pregame, halftime, and postgame duties or if they are being brought over to do SportsCenter from South Africa. Speaking of the flight to South Africa does ESPN bring over Max Bretos who is now doing hosting duties for ESPN NEWS and Allen Hopkins to do SportsCenter from SA in the case of Bretos and as a sideline reporter in the case of Hopkins?

    1. Bretos YES. Hopkins NOOOOOO he is absolute GARBAGE, and some of u are a bit bitter about JP and Harkes, using Hopkins to be a sideline reporter would be the dumbest idea ever, hope they keep him in the states to do MLS since no one’s gonna care about that while the world cup is on.

      1. “Bretos YES. Hopkins NOOOOOO ”

        Not sure how you missed the opportunity to write “Bretos YEEEEESSS.”

  26. Have to admit I’m really torn by this one. No doubt Martin Tyler is brings gravitas to the broadcast. I really feel bad for JP though. Granted he may be a bit over-enthusiastic at times, but he has definitely paid his dues calling games the last 20 years, and has continually gets passed over for the big stage. As most pepole also know Martin tyler is the voice of FIFA 10 and I will probably be playng tons of USA-England matches on PS3 right up until June 12, so I may secretly hoping to her a different voice on the real match for my own sanity.

  27. First and Foremost i want to Apologize to The Gaffer,(relating to another topic about Broadcasting. Im sure you have a bested interest in seeing something happen for American Soccer, I think itsa shame that Producer is Eurotising the American broadcast team.

      1. We Have Good Good American Announcers!!!! USMNT and the American Soccer Fans do deserve Our “American Call Guys”

  28. I think it would be good for you to have one brit and an american doing the matches, that way you get a neutral view of the game and it would enable the americans to take things from the brit and adapt it into their own style. You never know, a combination like this could end up improving the way games are presented over there in the future.
    I have no idea what the standard is like in your country, but judging from the comments, it is not very good. I suppose it is not as easy though for american presenters as there will probably be quite a big difference to what the audience understands. Some Americans will probably understand the game as well as anyone, where as some may be new to the game and need a little help with things like offside rule and the back pass rule. this is something that British presenters wouldn’t even think about. I think it will be interesting to see if Tyler is told to ‘dumb’ it down a bit to take into account these new fans
    I suppose it would be like me trying to watch the superbowl when i don’t even understand the rules of the game, the presentation would need to be a lot different in this country than it would be in the U.S

  29. I Am VERY PLEASED with the announcers esp getting Ian Darke, however I would have really liked to see Jon Champion over the likes of an Adrian Healy, which makes me wonder if he’s contracted to ESPN UK for Premier League, why couldn’t they get him to do World Cup ESPN US??, unless he’s already contracted to the BBC or ITV for this summer i’d understand, don’t u think negotiating a contract for ESPN would have been easier considering he’s already employed by them, but it would have been great to have Tyler, Darke, and Champion (what a hat-trick that would have been) along with Derek Rae who is great in my opinion. Very Exciting stuff for this summer, can’t wait to see who to play-by-play analysts will be and the pairings!!

  30. I am glad I won’t have to listen to JP for WC2010. But Harkes is even worse. Can’t they demote him to radio as well and find something better. I think Julie Fowdy is better than Harkes by a lot. And while we are at it fire Lalas. He is worthless.

  31. I think this was a great a great decision by ESPN. The American commentators simply are not up to par with the English ones. The shear vocabulary of English commentators blows the American announcers out of the water. I could liken the American callers to NBC’s broadcasters on NHL hockey on Sunday afternoons…it’s downright awful.

    1. Doc Emrick and Eddie Ed Olczyk are American Dumbass. Methinks you need to learn things. And even Canadians admit Pierre McGuire is a hack.

      1. And They’re one of the Best in the Business, according to there peers. So please don’t, just don’t.

  32. Will BoB Ley be doing the halftime/pregame hosting? I bet Lalas and McManaman will be doing the analysis.

  33. Listening to an american announce a game is like watching baseball. I dont wanna hear about statistics, i dont wanna hear about their choice in colors and why one players boot is better than the others. i just wanna hear them talk about soccer. JP talks just to fill the dead air. Tommy smyth is a much better annoucer and i would prefer to listen to him when watching the USA games.

  34. MLS seems to like English announcers also This could become a trend.

  35. U.S. games (and others) need a fresh, knowledgeable, personable and honest face and voice that knows the ins and outs of today’s game and the training and dedication that go into roster and playing decisions. If Charlie Davies can’t be on the field, let’s get him in the booth. He knows the game, and particularly the offense, better than anyone.

  36. Oh, Dear Me! We are in a tizzy, aren’t we? What you who yearn for local heroes all fail to realise is that JP and Tommy and Alexei and Balboa are all third rate and refuse to learn how to shut up and watch the game! They wouldn’t be permitted in a booth to call a premier league game. JP has babbled incessantly about absolutely nothing for the twenty years he has been around, and THAT is why he doesn’t make the cu; Lalas has ZERO understanding of anything except brutality (as he had when he was a second-rate player) and the mirror, and poor wee Tommy Smythe can’t help but shout and yearn for onions in the bag! Harkes is just self-absorbed and loves to hear the sound of his own voice (as does JP, of course), and Fowler is acceptable. I’d be more than happy to listen to Julie Foudy, she’s knowledgeable and incisive. Just the opposite of those we love to hate!

    You are lucky to have these top people commentating your games. They probably cost ESPN a fortune in a competitive bidding market. Not only will the games be unusually enjoyable, but the in-game analysis will be to the point. No longer will we have to suffer The Voice of The Irish or JP I-am-a-camera explaining to us what we just saw. I agree with the earlier comment that this, above all, is the reason football on TV has had such a hard time here….while it MAY be necessary to recreate the recent play in American Football, with nine camera angles and several voices and three commercial breaks, and similarly in Baseball looking over and again at the pitch or the catch or the ball from the shortstop, this is superfluous to football, where, at most, we expect to re-see the goal, the foul, or the stunning bit of skill. The rest is all about the babbling, chattering announcer. It has to be said that I am currently spoiled by getting a feed of the BBC Match of the Day from a fellow in New York, and listening to the SOLE COMMENTATOR in the booth!! What joy! I can assure you Martin Tyler is a pro. He won’t be overtly rooting for England; he will be telling you who has the ball. Who passed the ball brilliantly. Who scored. That’s it. Don’t be afraid, boys…not everyone who calls a game is wearing a lapel pin and talking about “we.”

    The truth of the matter, and the reason why your teams suffer when playing against anybody other than Barbados for any sort of meaningful result, is that they come to it late, attend university (a joke, that, laugh, boys!) in order to learn how to later play the game against the kids of Lagos and Rio who played half their lives with balls of rags or used tennis balls, a marvellous way to learn ball-skills, by the way (but that’s not about kit, and you sure do LOVE your gear…see poor, rich Freddy Adu with his shoe contract and no development). Your team USA will never amount to much until you stop treating your players like so many NCAA clones….with the silly draft, the stupid appellation of the guy’s college affiliation, which merely makes those of us in the know snigger and move on to the fridge pack. A local fellow here in the great southwest whom I knew, and who got a gig coaching his high school’s varsity team sums it all up for me….he was a fair player, fast on the ball, decent dribbler, what my one-time Uruguayan wife would disparagingly call “an individualista,” who always went a yard too far, and always lost it in the (remember when these clowns tried to introduce “the Red Zone”?) area to the waiting and expectant defender…..well, his team, as he proudly told me, had a great celebration….but, alas, in the pair of years he was in charge, they went about 2-27 with few goals and little chance to practice it. So, fellows, it is all well and good to look good against Honduras, but watch out for angry Algerians or sneaky Slovenians. The hope is that more of your players will head off to Europe in the coming decade. It is FAR better to play English or German 2nd or 3rd division than MLS. Sorry, but it is true, for the moment. You will benefit from this lease-lend affair that is getting up a head of steam. And you produce wonderful ‘keepers, by the way.

    Oh! I DOOOOOOO hope you slot a few past the English….Landon D, who slew the Everton fans this past season, is the best American football player I have ever seen…. and close to his peak at the moment. If he is hot and given space, you stand a good chance of waxing the slow English defence. I would be happier if Conor Casey were there for backup, though. Altidore and Dempsey are reliable. Let’s hope they spend time in the box, waiting for pretty Donovan crosses….OOOOOOOOO, I can’t wait!
    You ought to make it through to the second round. A better blooding in the prelims would have helped you out, however. Better to struggle with Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, and sneak in, than to suffer against Honduras, Costa Rica and Canada and sail in with nothing to exercise you but a few “friendlies,” where god knows what is at stake.

    At any rate, good luck!!! This is what we’ve all been waiting for these passsssssttttttt lonnnnnnngggggg four years!

    Oh, and Derek Rae is a Scot.

    1. You were doin good up until that crap about Fowdy then you lost all credibility, anybody that thinks she belongs on tv needs to stop following the game.

      1. Come on! Calm down! Just because they spent so much time with the abacus totting up their scores against The Rest of The World, doesn’t excuse you from seeing the irony, Kautzie. Isn’t ANYBODY better than the terrible trio? My credibility is entirely based on crap. Wadda ya have against girls? Who’d YOU rather consider, Julie or Tommy? ‘Nuff said!

  37. Misha, like I said I agree with basically everything you said except the part about Fowdy and no i’m not a misogynist by any stretch of the imagination, Fowdy’s just dire and an insult to our intelligence and why she got hired in the first place is beyond me.

  38. My God ESPN, what boring commentators during the game, can you imagine if during a hockey of a basketball game the commentators would be so boring.
    if you had exiting commentators you would increase the rating for the American viewers.
    Yes during half time the ESPN comments are good, but during the game it just sad to make a exiting game boring.
    ESPN, there must be someone in the world that can comment with excitement during a soccer game.
    Please consider it.

    1. ESPN got the best English speaking soccer commentators in the world, so you obviously don’t know what your talkin about.

      1. You are right, the comments during half time and after are quite good, but during the game, boooooorrrrrrriiiiinnng!!!
        Check tonight the commentators the finals in Celtics Basketball game

      2. pretty sure you have no clue if you could say such a thing. they are the worst. you could watch on Fox soccer and listen to the real ones. these commentators will make me to watch the matches in Spanish even though i don’t know it. they need to tell who is passing, what the deal is, something about each player, his history…speak fast and create the atmosphere and not telling tales to get asleep. These guys will never get a job in Europe.

  39. At about 14-15 minutes in todays Holland v Denmark match the commentator said…
    “it’s nil nil and is likely to remain that way until someone scores a goal”

    A classic…

    In the second half the same guy totally mispronounced a Danes name, he called him keera…

    Lj at the start of a name is pronounced SHA…

    You’d think Commentators would be paid well enough to want to get the names correct. Maybe it’snil time to let the dinosaurs rest and bring in a younger generation of commentators who actually give a damn…

    But it will be nil nil in every game until someone scores, maybe someone should let the old guy in on it… It’s not such a secret…

    1. some of us are coming from Europe, we do know what a good player or a good commentator is… btw, the USA plays better than England and France. i watched England-Algeria and France Uruguay and both matches were so boring. USA against Slovenia was a joy to watch.

  40. the worst commentators i have ever heard. I cannot understand how you guys from ESPN couldn’t find Americans coming from Europe or South America who know football. it’s a big disappointment, i heard people who don’t know Spanish watching on ESPN in Spanish. I will try it, anything it’s better than your Brits Irish fake commentators.

    1. 1. I’m sure there are lots of South Americans who know football, but they more than likely don’t speak English well enough

      2. Spanish broadcast is on Univision, not ESPN. ESPN Deportes has Portuguese broadcasts (as well as a few other languages on

  41. Harkes truly is as thick as they come. He adds NOTHING to any game, he’s a tedious cliche machine. and even worse he frequently repeats/rewords whatever the real commentator has just said. Its pathetic tokenism, just to have a yank on the telly, regardless of how useless or inept the yank maybe.

    As for the preening yanks in the studio, they are just as woeful as Harkes. Ignorant blowhards, primed to talk up the US side, no matter what happens. With NO understanding of football, and as usual primed with what they consider a few face saving stats to spew forth with and upbeat cliches. Contrast the actual match analysis with that on BBC1 or Sky Sports, its embarassing to watch. The foreign stars ESPN have signed up are mostly OK. Martinez from Wigan is obviously aimed at the hispanic crowd. Macmanam is dreadful and quite dim. Gullit as usual refuses to concede anyone else has a valid opinion and Klinsmen is his usual self. Lalas as ever is absolutely awful, for me he adds nothing I didn’t already know or hadn’t worked out for myself.

    BBC Radio 5 live has the best commentary/match build up. ITV is dire and BBC TV, aside from its endless racial pandering and continuously dredging up apartheid era atrocities and forcing folks to watch it as part of their footy coverage is also pretty good.

    ESPN would have instantly utterly ruined the whole world cup for everyone by allowing a single american to attempt to be match commentator. Harkes is just a joke one can sit and laugh at.

    Getting real tired of the constant politically correct fawning about “african sides on african soil” from the English commentators. I couldn’t care less how any nation does, solely based on their ethnicity. Its all about the quality of the football. And the ALL WHITES of New Zealand have done their nation proud. Unlike (thus far) the very surprisingly woeful Ingerland who hopefully will now shake off their collective malaise and hammer Slovenia. To see the germans and french and spanish losing is quite superb.

    To the lady who posted earlier about commentator nonsense. This is all part of the tradition of British world cup coverage. Many decades ago it was dubbed “Colemanballs” in Private Eye magazine in honour of David Coleman the top BBC commentator who every game made a few verbal slips. Its something true footy fans love to do, watching out for cringe making comments on the telly and the wireless. Its a harmless bloodless sport.

  42. I love the commentators for the world cup. I am very pleased they did not have JP Dellacamera. He is the worst. He suits radio much better. When you are watching a match he tells you every step the players are making. I dont know about you but I can see it on the screen too. I turn down the sound when he is commentating.

  43. Oh my God! How in the world the ESPN commentators for the World Cup Spain vs Germany make such an exciting game BORING? They should be commenting the golf game, perhaps chess, but not soccer (football).
    Hockey is such a fast game and the commentator in US they do such a great job, but for the World Cup it’s a disaster.
    The ESPN commentators, have no enthusiasm,excitement; they just watch the game and when they talk, they put you to sleep.
    With a good commentator your ratings will increase considerably.
    Good thing that I understand Spanish and listen to Univision, WHAT A DIFFERENCE !!! the way they comment the game, it acutely puts you on the edge of the seat.
    There must be somewhere in the world a good commentator that ESPN could hire, not those boring bores that are commenting now.

  44. Football (soccer) is a beautiful game, but the ESPN commentator are killing this game and the are sooooo booooorinnng

  45. Dear Comentators!
    Praise for Spain in the World Cup is absolute nonsense. They played well in a few games. Maybe ex football players should not be comentators. They have no clue. Get individuals who know sport, not how one team playds. Its a disgrace

  46. ESPN TV commentator, you are the most boring commentators world cup commentator, the radio commentator are great. US spectator need excitement, but when listening to the TV commentators during the game, it actually was disgraceful, horrible, monotonous. There must be someone that can do the job better.
    What is wrong with ESPN, do they hate soccer? Perhaps they do it on purpose so soccer does not take off as the # 1 sport in USA

    1. Yes but Soccer doesnt have to be the number one sport in America, or just wont be, as for the comentators for tv, It was a total Eurosnobs move, the producer responsible is a eurosnob, and doesnt have the best interest for the american soccer fan. therefore forcefeeds soccer, especially the eurosnob philosophy.

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